Recent posts have been all about the woods, so it’s time to check in with the garden. Lettuce is flourishing, which means salad every day. A bowl of lettuce dressed with garlic and balsamic vinaigrette makes me happy, but super-fresh radishes, grated carrots and a few cilantro leaves give the lettuce flavors and textures to play with. My current favorite combination is ‘Buttercrunch’, ‘Continuity’ and ‘Two Star’. Many other varieties are growing as well, as I happily indulge my whim to try nearly every kind of lettuce there is.
The weather swings from cold and windy to warm and sunny and back again. In spite of this, the tomato plants are filling out. There is even one tiny green tomato. Pea vines climb. Cucumbers and beans are planted. Flowers too.
The garden really seems established this year. I wander around out there, remembering how it looked before I started digging and planting. It’s gone through many stages. I reflect on the changes from weeds to flowers and paths. Some plants have died, some have moved–dug up by me, or wandered on their own. Billows of purple catmint entice the bees. Two kinds of dianthus bloom now, filling the air with a clove pink scent that reminds me of my gramma’s house long ago. Purple and gold irises stand stately by the arbor. There are rose buds coming along, and lilies. Volunteer sunflowers will bloom before the seeds I planted do.
Time retreats when I am in the garden. In Journal of a Solitude, May Sarton frequently describes flowers she has brought from her garden to enjoy in the house. This book was published in 1973, and she wrote how important it is to garden in order to slow down and connect with nature. Important then, perhaps critical now. When I think of 1973 compared to 2012, it seems like a faraway simpler time even though I know it was not.
Well. I feel fortunate to have my little patch of dirt with growing things. Lucky to be able to walk outside and pick something to eat. And to have bees living a few steps from the house. An everchanging tapestry of flowers to nourish my senses. A place to touch my feet to the ground, and slow down. It’s never finished, and that’s good.